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How to Stop Time: A Novel by Matt Haig
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How to Stop Time: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Matt Haig (Author)

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2,9001364,972 (3.75)72
Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library.
“A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post

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“She smiled a soft, troubled smile and I felt the whole world slipping away, and I wanted to slip with it, to go wherever she was going… I had existed whole years without her, but that was all it had been. An existence. A book with no words.”
Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history—performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.
Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.
How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
 
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch.… (more)
Member:heatherlynnorman
Title:How to Stop Time: A Novel
Authors:Matt Haig (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2019), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

  1. 41
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (shaunie)
  2. 00
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (Othemts)
  3. 00
    Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: For another take on immortality, try Before Ever After, in which a woman learns that her supposedly late husband is actually alive -- and centuries older than she thought. A wealth of obscure historical lore makes events come alive.
  4. 01
    The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Othemts)
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» See also 72 mentions

English (133)  German (3)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
DNF at 8%. Two years ago I gave up on another Haig novel. I thought enough time had passed that I could give this one a genuine try. Nope. Still not a fan of the writing style. Don’t like the format of the story. And I can officially say I don’t need to try any more. Sorry, Dude. ( )
  ilkjen | Jun 25, 2024 |
In the acknowledgments the author explains that he has written another book about space and wanted this one to be about time...how it can “comfort us and terrify us, and the way it makes us appreciate the scale and precious texture of our lives.”

I think he accomplishes the mission of making the reader think about time in a new way; to take stock in the time we have on this Earth and what it could look like if life wasn’t as short.

But I don’t think there was enough plot to the story. I wanted more events to happen or more connections to be made or more...something. I liked the characters, I enjoyed the concepts, but I was left wanting more. ( )
  snewell2 | Jun 24, 2024 |
This book was thoroughly okay. It was written very well and the concept was fun. But the story line was just a little flat. I felt like it was going to go somewhere and then just never quite did for me. Still a good and quick read though. ( )
  teejayhanton | Mar 22, 2024 |
I first encountered Matt Haig in The Midnight Library which proved to be an interesting premise where a character visited a library between life and death so she could "take out" so to speak a different version of her life, explore the road not taken.
This earlier novel of his also has a unique premise. The main character Tom Hazard is revealed to have lived for over four hundred years. Due to a genetic condition he ages on a scale of about 1 to every 15 years. Haig takes this opportunity to place the narrator in London during Shakespearean days, later sailing with Captain Cook to the Pacific Islands, then in Paris, chatting with F Scott and Zelda and finally teaching history to enlighten phone addicted teenagers. -( I mean who better to teach high school history)- The various historical adventures make for fun reading and ample opportunities for philosophical meandering, but the plot of the novel makes clear that this is not a fun life for the man whose mother was drowned for being a witch since her son did not age. He once had the love of his life and a child, but his condition always made it too dangerous for the ones he loved. So the solution is to never love. This is what he learns from a supposedly wise leader of a group called the albatross society who are the people with this condition who have to change life every eight years in order to escape capture from those who would want to harness this condition for scientific research. So in the current time, when faced with a possible new love, he has to wrestle with the beliefs of the albatross society or with his heart.

Fun read but I wouldn't say a big recommendation to others. In reading a bit about the author I would be interested in an earlier book of his called The Humans. Haig is very open about his struggles with mental health and his book Reasons to Stay Alive may also be of interest.
Lines
Forever, Emily Dickinson said, is composed of nows. But how do you inhabit the now you are in? How do you stop the ghosts of all the other nows from getting in? How, in short, do you live?

The first technology to lead to fake news wasn’t the internet, it was the printing press. Books solidified the superstition. Almost everybody believed in witches.

Do you know the way you can tell if a tightrope walker is any good?’ ‘How?’ ‘They’re still alive.’

‘You are not the only one with sorrows in this world. Don’t hoard them like they are precious. There is always plenty of them to go around.’

The great thing about being in your four hundreds is that you can get the measure of someone pretty quickly.

The lesson of history is that ignorance and superstition are things that can rise up, inside almost anyone, at any moment. And what starts as a doubt in a mind can swiftly become an act in the world.

as if Montaigne himself was also in the room. ‘“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ( )
  novelcommentary | Mar 18, 2024 |
What a lovely book. The plot moves right along, carrying you through time and space with equal abandon. Surprisingly, it is a coming of age story, with a centuries old protagonist . Particularly enjoyed the character of Omai ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Matt Haigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meadows, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riddell, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I often think of what Hendrich said to me, over a century ago, in his New York apartment.
Quotations
"It's strange, isn't it? All the things that we have lived to see.... spectacles, the printing press, newspapers, rifles, compasses, the telescope, the pendulum clock, the piano, Impressionist paintings, photography, Napoleon, champagne, semi-colons, billboards, the hot dog."
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
The key to happiness wasn’t being yourself, because what did that even mean? Everyone had many selves. No. The key to happiness is finding the lie that suits you best.
There comes a time when the only way to start living is to tell the truth. To be who you really are, even if it is dangerous.
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Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library.
“A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post

  
“She smiled a soft, troubled smile and I felt the whole world slipping away, and I wanted to slip with it, to go wherever she was going… I had existed whole years without her, but that was all it had been. An existence. A book with no words.”
Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history—performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.
Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.
How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
 
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

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Eternally young,
longing for true connections.
I can trust no one.
(PeggyDean)

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